Civic engagement and human rights matter
At the IAF, we believe that inclusive, democratic societies build stronger communities. When all individuals and groups—regardless of ability, gender, or identity—fully participate in economic, social, and political life, they contribute to stronger governance for their nation. Strong, democratic governments make good neighbors for the United States.
Participatory development has been core to our mission since our founding. We support community-led initiatives that ensure that excluded and marginalized populations have the access, skills, and resources they need to improve their livelihoods. These efforts to expand inclusive opportunities span across all development sectors, including enterprise development, civic engagement, and food security. Ultimately our goal is to encourage the establishment and growth of democratic institutions appropriate to countries where we work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Talk about community-led development!
Recent News and Stories
By sustainably harvesting forests, Mexican community organizations are stemming deforestation and ensuring opportunities for all people to thrive in their home communities.
Few would have imagined in the early days that former IAF grantee partner Fundación Defensores del Chaco would become a youth-led powerhouse mobilizing entire towns to advocate for themselves. But what started as a street soccer team became a space where young people and their communities could bring their problems and find solutions together.
"Government is not separate from the people. “Government” is us. But the government doesn’t necessarily automatically carry out the will of the people. It responds to scrutiny. It is the responsibility of every citizen to know what leaders are doing," said Ramón Daubón, former IAF Vice President for Programs, in our recent conversation.